The Cat in the Attic

Strange and unexpected things happen during home inspections. Seldom are they tragic. Often they are humorous. One such occasion recently came to mind.

Not long ago, one of our inspectors was performing a new home final walk-through inspection. Accompanying the inspector were the homebuyers and the builders superintendent. As the superintendent was explaining the many and varied features of the windows, our intrepid inspector went into the attic to have a look around.

While in the far reaches of the attic, with light shining bright, the unmistakable reflection of eyes were observed. As our inspector went closer in an attempt to identify the eyes, not by name or color, just critter classification, the critter made a dash out of the light. As our brave inspector followed the dashing fur ball, it became clear it was a cat. After some time spent trying to encourage the cat toward the attic pull down steps, the chivalrous inspector not being a cat herder, descended the steps to tell the superintendent of the problem.

The superintendent went into the attic, scanned and panned, but saw nothing. The homebuyers were somewhat amused, but did not want a cat in the attic. On the compassionate side, the cat could not live long in an enclosed attic. On the practical side, if the cat were to die somewhere in the attic, well-baked cat does not smell very good! The homebuyers would not accept the home unless the cat was removed.

The superintendent was not a happy guy. However, he took responsibility for the situation and called a local trapper to capture and release the cat. It seemed like a good solution for everyone, including the cat.

When the cat-catcher arrived, things were looking up. He seemed like a gentle man who would rescue the kitty and everyone would live happily ever after.

It was not so easy. Cat man could not find the cat. After an hour of meowing, here kitty-kitty-ing, and other cat-catcher techniques, the cat was nowhere to be found. This seemed like a reasonable outcome. Cat out of attic, happy homebuyer; cat out of attic, happy cat. But things are never simple.

Cat man gave his invoice to the builder's superintendent. It was for $95. Cat hunters are seemingly paid quite well! Anyway, the superintendent refused to pay the bill since the cat catcher did not catch a cat.

The cat hunter departed, madder than a wet cat, hissing all the way back to the office.

Wally Conway is President of Florida HomePro Inspections, and has recently written a book entitled "Secrets of the Happy Home Inspector", available at GoHomePro.com or Amazon.com. Wally's expertise and experience has been sought after by HGTV's "House Detective", the Florida Times Union, and many real estate boards and associations. As a speaker, writer, instructor, and host of The Happy Home Inspector radio show every Saturday at 3 PM on WOKV 690, Wally blends the right amount of up-to-date information with just the right amount of humor, insight, motivation, and real-world application. Visit WallyConway.com for more information!

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